There’s not much LibreOffice can’t do when it comes to document management, from working on manuscripts to coding. However, users will note that while there are formats for math, spreadsheets, writing, etc., there is no specific option for editing a PDF.
Do not worry! Like many text editors, LibreOffice lets you edit PDFs, and that’s not bad either. Here’s how to use LibreOffice as a PDF editor.
How to Edit PDFs in LibreOffice
If you haven’t already, be sure to visit the LibreOffice website and download the application for your computer. It’s free to use, you don’t need to create an account, and it works with a wide variety of platforms, making it a great contender against something like Microsoft Word. Once you have LibreOffice, here’s what to do:
Step 1: Upload the PDF you intend to work on. It will need to be on local storage or a compatible drive for LibreOffice to locate it easily, so you may need to download it from the internet or your email if needed.
2nd step: Open LibreOffice and choose the Draw Draw option in the left menu. This is the best format that LibreOffice allows users to edit PDFs in, so you’ll need to start here.
Step 3: Choose the Case option from your menu and select Open.
Step 4: Your local files will now open. LibreOffice usually opens on your compatible documents. You will want to go to your downloads section or use the search function to find your specific PDF file. When you do, select it to begin.
Step 5: LibreOffice will now open the PDF in Draw so you can work on it.
Step 6: You will notice that the PDF looks a bit strange since we have dark mode enabled in LibreOffice. Dark mode will also color the PDF, so to get a clear color preview, it’s a good idea to turn it off before you start working.
Step 7: Now you can select any part of the PDF or its text, and a box will appear on it allowing you to edit, move and change things in general. On the left, you’ll see a slideshow-like menu that lets you navigate between the different pages of the PDF and find what you’re looking for. On the right, you’ll see formatting options for the text or object you’ve selected.
Step 8: Saving the document will normally keep it as a Draw OFT file or similar format in LibreOffice. You probably don’t want this, so to save your changes as a PDF, be sure to go to Case, Exportand Export to PDF.
What should I do if my PDF formatting is messed up?
It can happen. LibreOffice interprets the PDF document as a Draw file while you work on it. This can lead to issues, like misplaced objects and text boxes. Or, you may find text difficult to edit because LibreOffice will interpret each line of text as a separate box. This may vary depending on how the PDF was created.
There is not much you can do about it except make corrections. Draw is the best free option for PDF editing that LibreOffice can provide, and it’s generally a better choice than trying to edit a PDF in Word. The best option would be to edit a PDF with Adobe Acrobat or a similar Adobe program, which will be the most accurate. However, getting Acrobat for free can be tricky, as there is no free trial guarantee. You can also try editing your PDF on a platform like Google Drive, which is also free if you have a Google account, to see if the results are more accurate.
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